Ultimate Guide on How To Buy, Install and Replace Stand Up Paddle Board Fins

Stand up paddle board fins

Ultimate Guide on How To Buy, Install and Replace Stand Up Paddle Board Fins

How you paddle in the water depends a lot on the stand up paddle board fins on your board. That’s why it’s so important to make the right choice if you need to buy new ones and replace them.

You need to know what to look for in picking a stand up paddle board fin. Also how to install and replace it properly.

In this guide, you’ll be able to find tips for selecting, installing and replacing stand up paddle board fins for your SUP board.

What Are SUP Fins? Purpose of SUP Fins? Can You Paddle Without a SUP Fin?

Stand up paddle board fins are an important accessories for a stand up paddle board. This accessory is responsible for providing paddlers with the stability they need to navigate the water effectively and without much difficulty.

Fins make it easy for paddlers to turn in the water and move in either a right or left direction.

Paddling without a fin can be very difficult and we suggest not to try it.  It’s a good idea to have at least one SUP fin installed on a stand up paddle board if you go out in the water.

If a stand up paddle board is equipped with fins, then you will find it a lot easier to maneuver in the water.  A stand up paddle board with a fin will not spin on you when you try to turn it to the left or to the right.

SUP Fin Terminology And What Are Sections of a Fin Called?

Basic SUP Fin Types

A SUP fin consists of several sections: base, tip, leading edge as well as trailing edge. Now, let’s take a closer look at each of fin’s sections.

    • Base means the bottom of a SUP fin. This is the widest part of a fin. It’s the place where fin is installed on a paddle board.
    • Tip means the top part of a SUP fin.
    • Leading edge means the front part of a SUP fin. The way a paddle board turns and releases water depends a lot on fin’s leading edge.
    • Trailing edge means the back part of a SUP fin. This part of a SUP fin is also responsible for how easily your paddle board turns on the water.
    • Sweep is the angle between leading edge and base.

 

How To Put A Fin On An Inflatable Paddle Board: Installation and Setup

In order to install a SUP fin you need to prepare three pieces: fin itself, screws as well as screwdriver. First of all, you should put a screw in a fin box and slight it forward and then screw it off.

Afterwards, you need to put a fin in a paddle board. Lastly, you have to take a screw, drop it in a fin box and take in down on the nut with a screw driver.

So, a SUP fin will be fixed. That’s it. Now, your stand up paddle board is ready to go.

SUP Fin Types

There are different types of stand up paddle board fins including downwinder fins, quad fins, race fins, flat water fins, all-round fins, etc. Below, we’ll give you some insights into each type of SUP fin.

Flat Water Fins

Flat Water SUP Fin

Flat Water Fins are long. SUP fins of this type are a good choice if you areplanning to paddle on flat water. They provide paddlers with the stability they need to track and navigate on the water.

You’ll find it easy to do maneuvering on waves if your stand up paddle board is equipped with all-round fins. With fins of this type your stand up paddle board will move much faster through waves.

Race Fins

SUP Race Fin

Race Fins have been designed with surf racers in mind. Race fins provide paddlers with better maneuverability and stability. So, you’ll find it easy to paddle surf in different situations with race fins.

Quad Fins

SUP Quad Fin

SUP Quad Fins you’ll be able to easily handle waves of all sizes. Quad Fins provide paddlers with more versatility. So, paddle surfers have more options while going through waves.

Downwinder Fins

downwinder sup fin

Downwinder SUP fins are longer and narrower than others. Downwinder fins are a good option if you are planning to paddle surf on rivers or fast moving bodies of water. Including the ocean.

SUP Fin Placement

SUP Fin Placement
Photo Courtesy of Starboard – https://sup.star-board.com/

Fin placement has an impact on a paddlers stability and maneuverability during a SUP adventure on the water. The reality is, fins can be positioned on a stand up paddle board in different ways.

For example, you can place a SUP fin forward. In this case, you’ll put less pressure on a stand up paddle board’s tail. This way, you’ll be able to improve a surfer’s maneuverability. On the other hand, a stand up paddle board is likely to slow down if you choose to move a SUP fin towards the nose.

A SUP fin can be also positioned towards the back of a stand up paddle board. This will give a paddler more stability.

When positioning fins, it makes a lot of sense to try to find a happy medium. Such positioning will allow you to achieve the balance between stability, control and pace when out on the water.


Best SUP Fins For Your SUP Board

Future Fins – Large White Thermoflex Keel SUP Fin Stand Up Paddleboard

Features & Specifications:

Future Fins - Large White Thermoflex Keel SUP Fin Stand Up Paddleboard

This SUP fin is a good option if you are planning to paddle on flat water. It’s available in white color. It has a height of 7″. A base of 7″ and an area of 44.5″

The fin fits all types of stand up paddle boards. The fin has the carbon fiber construction and that’s why it’s so lightweight. With this SUP fin, a surfer will go on the water very quickly. According to the customer reviews, the fin is very durable.

Pros:

  • The shallow depth and long water line make it perfect for shedding lake grass and dodging shoals.
  •  Carbon fiber construction make it extremely lightweight.
  • Increases buoyancy and efficiency of your SUP Board.

Cons:

  • Performance is good mostly in shallow water only.

What Did Customers Say About This SUP Fin? 

Customers like that they can track straight in shallow water.  Its angled profile allows weeds to slide off in Lake waters and create less drag by being more hydro-dynamic. Can paddle on one side for a long time before switching sides.

Santa Barbara Surfing SBS – 9″ Longboard & SUP Single Fin – Center Fin for Surfboards & Paddleboards

Santa Barbara Surfing SBS 9" iSUP Fin - Quick Release Slide in Fin for Inflatable Paddleboard (Aqua...
  • PLEASE REVIEW OUR COMPATIBILITY LIST: This is a "Slide In" fin for some inflatable paddleboards. See our compatibility list in the photos for what boards this fits. Some examples: Aqua Marina, Vilano,...
  • UPGRADED PERFORMANCE: Our stronger iSUP Slide fin will improve your board's tracking, meaning less stroke changes
  • DIMENSIONS: 9" with standard width and sweep

Features & Specifications:

Santa Barbara Surfing SBS 9 iSUP Fin - Quick Release Slide in Fin for Inflatable Paddle board

This SUP fin is very versatile and suitable for any type of stand up paddle board. What is great about this fin is that it’s easy to install. You’ll be able to install this SUP fin quickly without any tools. The fin comes with no hardware.

  • Dimensions: 9″ with standard width and sweep.
  • Nylon construction gives it some stiffness yet enough flexibility.

Pros:

  • Quick release removable fin fits most Inflatable Paddle boards with the Slide In fin system.
  • Great replacement for inflatable stand up paddle boards.

Cons:

  • Dose not fit all stand up paddle boards.
  • Need to make sure the fin is tightly secured to the SUP board.

What Did Customers Say About This SUP Fin?

Makes a great replacement fin. Can attach with no tools to most inflatable SUP boards. The company has a compatibility chart to check if your sup board will fit with their fin.

There maybe a challenge with removing the fin depending on your board. The construction of the material is durable and average.

KONA SURF CO. Classic Single Center Fin for Longboard, Surfboard and Paddleboard

KONA SURF CO. Classic Single Center Fin for Longboard, Surfboard and Paddleboard in Gloss Black...
  • [Summary]: This template is proven to be an excellent fin for most longboards and SUPs. The medium build and rake make this fin great for added control and easy paddling, turning and nose riding.
  • [Design]: Fits most 8in to 10in fin boxes for surfboards and paddleboards with many fun colors. You can get a black fin or choose one of our colorful designs to customize your board.
  • [Construction]: These fiberglass fins have excellent flex and durability making them stronger than your average plastic fins.

Features & Specifications:

KONA SURF CO. Classic Single Center Fin for Longboard, Surfboard and Paddleboard

This classic style fin provides paddlers with better control and easy paddling. The fin comes in a vast variety of colors. You can also get a customized design for your fin. With this type of fin you will be able to paddle in waves and other paddle conditions.

Pros:

  • Great for added control and easy paddling, turning and nose-riding.
  • Fiberglass fins have excellent flex and durability making them stronger than your average plastic fins so you don’t have to worry about them snapping during your paddle session.
  • Excellent quality.

Cons:

  • Colors are not as bright as in the product photos.

What Did Customers Say About This SUP Fin?

Overall, people that purchased this fin were very pleased. People have mentioned that the quality is good. The fin fits most 8″ to 10″ fin boxes. Not much negative comments to say about this one.

OCEANBROAD Center Fin for Longboard SUP Paddleboard Surf SUP Fin with Tool-Free No-Tool Screw8, 9, 10 inches

OCEANBROAD 8'' Surf SUP Fin 8 Inch No-Tool Fin Screw Single Center Fin for Surfboard Longboard...
  • SPECIFICATIONS: Depth 8 inches, base width 5.7 inches, weight with hardware 280g.
  • MATERIAL: Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon, marine grade stainless steel screw and plate.
  • VERSATILE: Suitable for Long boards SUP paddle boards with standard fin box.

Features & Specifications:

OCEANBROAD Center Fin for Longboard SUP Paddleboard Surf SUP Fin with Tool-Free No-Tool Screw8 9 10 inches

Do you have a long stand up paddle board? If so, this fin would be a good fit. The fin comes with a “no-tool” fin screw. So, you don’t need extra tools to install this SUP fin on your paddle board. This nice fin is available at reasonable price. Customer reviews say that the fin is a low-cost option.

Pros:

  • Fiberglass-Reinforced Nylon, marine grade stainless steel screw and plate.
  • Comes with a “no-tool” fin screw, so you can install this to the board without extra tools.
  • OCEANBROAD offers complete customer satisfaction of replacement or refund for any quality issues.

Cons:

  • Might not be suitable for rough paddle surfing conditions.

What Did Customers Say About This SUP Fin?

Customers of this fin like that it is a great low cost option. Fits most standard fin boxes with no tools required. Some feel the integrity of the fin may not hold up in rough conditions.

However majority of the people that bought it seem to be pleased when taking it out on various water conditions. People praised the fin for having good performance, tracking and stability.

The one small downside is that the 10″ fin will likely only fit in a hard board fin box because it is long. The 9″ needs about a tiny amount cut off the front to fit a few inflatable boards that might not be compatible.

Supflex Detachable Center Fin for Inflatable Stand Up Paddle SUP Boards

Supflex Detachable Center Fin for Inflatable Stand Up Paddle SUP Boards
  • 9-inch removable center fin for inflatable paddle boards. Constructed in nylon to be very durable
  • Compatible with any Supflex iSUP paddle board and many other Brands
  • Removable for easy storage and transportation

Features & Specifications:

Supflex Detachable Center Fin for Inflatable Stand Up Paddle SUP Boards

This center fin is made of nylon. This material makes fin durable. Another  advantage is that the fin is removable, so you’ll find it easy to remove a fin for storage and transportation when such a need arises.

Pros:

  • 9-inch removable center fin for inflatable paddle boards.
  • Compatible with any Supflex iSUP paddle board and many other Brands.
  • Removable for easy storage and transportation.

Cons:

  • Maybe difficult to unlatch the fin to remove from the board.
  • The dock is not included on this item ONLY the detachable fin.

What Did Customers Say About This SUP Fin?

People that bought this fin found that it worked great. No significant mentions about the performance in the water. People did complain that the fin did not come with the dock system.

You will need to get that separately or if you have a Supflex iSUP paddle board which is from the same company. It should have the dock system already in place for you to attach the fin.

Final Thoughts On Stand Up Paddle Board Fins

Like with any investment purchase you can do as much or as little research as you like.

When selecting a stand up paddle board fin. It is best to factor in the features, the quality of the material and other aspects that most relate to your specific need and the type of SUP board you have.

Hopefully, we have given you some quality information to use when buying, installing and replacing your stand up paddle board fin.

Checkout Our Standup Paddle Boarding Product Reviews!

  1. 10 Best Inflatable Standup Paddle Boards for 2020
  2. The Top 10 Must Have SUP Accessories
  3. 10 Best PFD ( Personal Flotation Device ) For Standup Paddle Boarding
  4. Top 8 Standup Paddle Board Roof Racks For Cars and SUVs
  5. The 8 Best Standup Paddle Board Storage and Travel Bags
  6. The Best SUP Gear And Apparel For Any Season
  7. 5 Best Stand Up Paddle Boards For Kids and Teenagers

 

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